The Los Angeles Times reports that acclaimed director Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland and may face extradition to the United States this week.
The 76-year-old filmmaker — who won an Oscar for Best Director for The Pianist and helmed such landmark movies as Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby — fled the U.S. in the late '70s after he was convicted of statutory rape. He had been living in France, but Los Angeles authorities learned that he made plans to travel to Switzerland, which has an extradition treaty with the U.S.
A 1978 warrant for Polanski's arrest is still in effect, and the director would face arrest the moment he arrives on United States soil. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said, however, that it is unclear whether Polanski would definitely face prison time.
The details of Polanski's 1978 arrest and prosecution were chronicled in last year's HBO documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. The movie also discusses the murder of Polanski's then-pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, by followers of notorious serial killer Charles Manson. Here is the trailer: Posted 09.27.09 by reelz